Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

College of Education and Human Development

Committee Chair

Petrosko, Joseph M.

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Crawford, Fashaad

Committee Member

Wilson, Kristin B.

Committee Member


Committee Member

Rosch, David

Author's Keywords

African American males; Collective racial esteem; Involvement; Black students; Retention; Indentity


African American male college students--Social conditions; African Americans--Race identity; Academic achievement


This dissertation examines the influence of collective racial esteem (CRE) on the quantity and type of involvement for African American male undergraduate students in public four-year institutions of higher education in the U.S. In addition, this relationship is examined to determine if differences exist across gender (male and female), and institutional variables (specifically, public HBCUs vs. public PWIs). The persistence and graduation of African American males at four-year institutions of higher education has increased in past decades, but still remains consistently and significantly lower than that of their non-African American male counterparts (Planty et al., 2009). African American male retention rates are also lower than their female counterparts of the same ethnic background. These data continue to be a reality, despite the extensive literature on African American students in college. Using multiple regression, hierarchical logistic regression, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA), this exploratory research design assessed the predictive potential of CRE to certain involvement variables established by the literature on African American male undergraduates. The predictor variables included in the study were the four sub-scales of CRE: Private CRE, Public CRE, Identity Salience, and Membership CRE. Independent variables were gender and institutional type. The criterion variables were quantity of campus involvement, decision to join an ethnic/minority organization, and faculty and peer interaction. Dependent variables were the four sub-scales of CRE. The study found Membership CRE to be a significant predictor of quantity of campus involvement for African American males; Identity Salience to be a significant predictor of decision to join an ethnic/minority organization for African American males; and Private CRE and Membership CRE to be a significant predictor of peer interaction for African American females. Significant differences were found between African American male and female CRE scores, and between students attending HBCUs and those attending PWIs. This study added a significant contribution to the literature for African American students by examining the effects of CRE on college involvement. This study concluded by suggesting that state-level and institutional level decision-makers should work to incorporate CRE into the design, implementation, and assessment of support services for African American students. Resources to support the enhancement of CRE should be adequately staffed and funded in the face of increasing diversity within post-secondary institutions. Individual practitioners and scholars could benefit from an understanding of CRE and its influence on student interactions and involvement, particularly at PWIs. Greater understanding of CRE could lead to more developmentally appropriate support and advising for African American students.